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Pomp, colour spice Ndayishimie's arrival

Pomp, colour spice Ndayishimie's arrival

IT was pomp, colour and style when Burundi President, Evariste Ndayishimiye jetted in the country for a three-day state visit yesterday.

A plane carrying the Burundi's highest office bearer touched down at the Dodoma airport as early as 09:20 am, where he was received by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Ambassador Liberata Mulamula.

Accompanied by First lady Angeline Ndayishimiye, the Burundi top leader was introduced to top government leaders by Ambassador Mulamula before proceeding to enjoy traditional dances that were prepared in his honour.

The dances were decorated by the brass band, with president Ndayishimiye failing to control his feelings as he automatically found himself dancing to the tunes at the country's capital airport.

Ten minutes later, the visiting president was led by Ambassador Mulamula to the VIP lounge where he stayed for about 26 minutes.

At around 09:57, President Ndayishimiye’s motorcade left the Dodoma airport for Chamwino State House.

The road from the airport to Chamwino State House was decorated with both Tanzania and Burundi flags.

It took almost 30 minutes from the airport to Chamwino State House. Usually, motorcades take 15 minutes when the usual escort speed is considered. But yesterday it was a bit different.

This is because vehicles led by several police motorbikes were drove at a normal speed to help the Burundi leader and his entourage to have a glimpse of the fast growing capital city.

At exactly 10:27, president Ndayishimiye arrived at Chamwino State House, where he was received by his host, president Samia Suluhu Hassan.

Immediately after his arrival, he was led by his host to the saluting dais, where he received a 21-gun salute as three national anthems were played concurrently by the brass band. They are the national anthems for Burundi, Tanzania and that of the East African Community.

He later inspected a special guard of honour mounted by the Tanzania Peoples' Defence Forces (TPDF) before the guard was taken outside the Ikulu grounds.

The two leaders later left for a closed door meeting for bilateral talks, popularly described as tete-a-tete.

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Author: KATARE MBASHIRU in Dodoma

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